December 21, 2007

Gifts support Shade Tree Clinic

Featured Image

VUSM students involved with the Shade Tree Clinic include (front row, from left) Amaka Agochukwu, Alan Peltz and Sue Churn, and (back row, from left) Suzanne Bryce, Eve Henry, Caitlin Toomey and Charles Phillips. (photo by Neil Brake)

Gifts support Shade Tree Clinic

The holidays came early this year for the Shade Tree Family Clinic, in the form of $24,000 to further its mission of providing free health care to Nashville's poor and medically underserved.

On Dec. 4, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students accepted a $14,000 check from organizers of the “Boulevard Bolt”— a five-mile Thanksgiving Day race through Nashville's Belle Meade neighborhood.

Then, on Dec. 11, clinic medical director Robert Miller, M.D., learned that a $10,000 check from the Tennessee Community Enhancement Grant program was on its way.

“The Shade Tree Clinic has broad support from Vanderbilt students and faculty, parents of students and the Medical Center,” said Miller. The clinic is run by Vanderbilt medical students in partnership with United Neighborhoods Health Services. It is open Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays from 6-9 p.m. Located off Dickerson Road in East Nashville, the clinic serves one of the city's neediest neighborhoods.

VUSM students, under the supervision of Vanderbilt attending physicians, provide urgent and chronic walk-in care at the clinic for the area's uninsured patients. The clinic also provides health education and patient referrals and acts as a bridge between the medically underserved community and other parts of the region's health care system.

“We are very proud of our students — not just for starting and running Shade Tree Clinic, but also for securing the funds needed to run it,” said Steven Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “They are a great example of the Medical Center's commitment to the community it serves.”